TREVOR WEEKS: Hedgehog mums still going into birth despite change in season

Baby hedgehog from Polegate SUS-170927-095826001
Baby hedgehog from Polegate SUS-170927-095826001

Now we are in autumn, hedgehogs should be thinking about fattening themselves up for hibernation. However, some mums are still giving birth.

They can have up to three litters a year and up to 10 babies at a time.

Sadly less than half of the babies in each litter will survive to adulthood.

Our newest tiny hedgehog rescued from Polegate this week was very cold and lethargic.

He has been rushed our hospital for warmth and fluids weighing just 39 grams!

He is now in Katie’s care in our orphan unit and she is taking him home at night to monitor him too.

October is the time of year when we start having more bonfires and start to have fireworks displays.

Please think about our wildlife if you are organising an event however big or small.

Avoid fireworks going into trees and bushes, avoid fires too close to vegetation.

All sorts of wildlife could be nesting or sleeping inside bonfire stacks, so please rebuild them before lighting and, most importantly, only light the bonfire on one side to allow any wildlife inside an escape route.

This time of year is the best time to clear vegetation and cut bushes and trees back, and will have the least amount of impact than any other time of year.

A beautiful pipistrelle bat was brought in by a cat in a Newick home earlier this week.

Rescue co-ordinator Chris and casualty manager Katie attended as reports were it was flying around the house.

Thankfully it was caught by the time the team got there and after speaking to Jenny Clark at the Sussex Bat Hospital, the bat once given first aid was released on site.

The small bat flew off to fight another day.

We had a stunning little water rail rescued in Kilda Stree,t Eastbourne, on Monday night.

This very secretive bird was found in the middle of the road.

It appeared just concussed and in the morning the bird had made a complete recovery so was taken back out and released again.

Tony has dealt with a poorly swan in Ringmer this week.

Very hungry, the swan has an injured leg and is currently bedded down in our hospital.

Could you spare any time to help as a volunteer rescuer or driver?

If so have a watch of our video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuiYYLpb1wI.

We are holding a rescuer recruitment day on Friday October 6 and Saturday October 7 at our Casualty Centre, Unit 2 The Shaw Barn, A22, Whitesmith, BN8 6JD.

Just turn up at 12noon, 2pm, 4pm or 6pm to find out more.

Rescuer shifts are 10am till 6pm and 6pm till 10pm and we require volunteers to commit to a once a week shift.

Those over 25 are able to drive our ambulances fully insured.

The majority of calls are collections and deliveries they are not all glamorous action rescues.

So even if you don’t think you can chase down a swan or tackle a deer, don’t worry you can help with the collections and deliveries of casualties.

Other calls this week have included a buzzard found trapped inside a chicken run in Lower Dicker, a catted robin flying round inside a house in Uckfield, a jackdaw unable to fly in a garden in Wilmington and injured swans on the Lewes Railway Lands Reserve and at Pevensey Bay.

Badger Trust Sussex asked us to deal with a road casualty badger on Shoreham Road Henfield on Monday.

Unfortunately, the RSPCA was already busy and the Badger Trust had no volunteers available at the time too. WRAS rescuer Tony Neads drove across from Polegate and soon had the badger picked up and on its way to WRAS’s hospital.

Mike, our vet, came to the centre to help assess the badger and we took three x-rays.

This revealed some spinal injuries as well as several fractured ribs and internal damage so sadly we had no choice but to put the poor creature down.